Today, these words are given by the ever generous Seth Godin.
His guest post is titled “Why is it So Difficult to Be Human?” and it was written just for you. I think he shares a very profound question that many of us have asked on this blog before.
He also contributed on many other blogs today, of which you can find a list here.
Why is it so difficult to be human?
What does it mean to be human anyway?
A key part of being a real person – a human being – is showing up, especially when it’s difficult, particularly when it’s frightening to do so.
Showing up counts for a lot. Why? Because it’s scarce.
Someone who will comfort you on the phone in the middle of the night, then throw on a bathrobe and drive to your house. That’s precious.
Someone who tells you the truth.
Someone who exposes herself, is present, connected and willing to let you hurt them.
These are the things we seek out as people, and yet we rarely find them. And yet we are rarely willing to be this person.
We built institutions, organizations and religions to make it easy to avoid being this person. The rules and principles and jobs and buildings and code words and admonitions… they all exist to protect us from the truths we’re afraid of and from the interactions we’d rather not have.
They organize us, and organization is a wonderful way to be protected.
We go to work and we hide. We hide behind the religion of our brand or our team or our Dunder-Mifflin employee manual. We go to a foreign country and we play tourist, because actually going there is too difficult, too risky, to exposed.
Showing up counts for a lot.
When we show up, we connect, we make change, we are transparent, and yes, we’re human.
Caring hurts sometimes, and that’s inconvenient.
The good news is that more than ever, value accrues to those that show up, those that make a difference, those that do work that matters.
The good news is that digging deep and fighting that voice that begs us to shut up instead of show up really pays off now, in more ways than we can count.
Faith in yourself, in your friends, in your colleagues and most of all, faith in your ability to impact our future is the best strategy I know.
Seth Godin’s new book LINCHPIN comes out today. It’s about art and gifts and connection and making a difference. And you should really read it because it’s really great.
And also, you should get a few of his other books if you haven’t yet. Three of my favorites are Purple Cow, The Dip, and Tribes. All three of those have shaped my perspective and execution of how and why and when I do what I do. You won’t be disappointed!